Nervous. Crazy. Oh my. We’re here!
So i suppose this blog will be all about them. =) Anyways…
You can’t possibly imagine how many letters I’ve written to you over the years. A good many, I dare say. And there are a few point (before I get into the meat of this) that I’d really like you to keep in mind. 1) Jason loves the girls. 2) I love the girls. 3) We know you love the girls. 4) We would do just about anything to be a part of their life. 5) They deserve to have both a mother and father in their lives – and yes, a stepmother and stepfather in their lives – without being afraid of being hurt for it.
Since we never really got to talk or become friends like I had so longed for, I guess I’ll tell you some of my story now. I know you have heard tidbits – and i know from the vile spin that came out of their friends mouth that you have shared and judged it. But here it it. I started dating Eddie, my ex, when I was 15. Three months in, I was pregnant. He had dated a girl before me that had his abortion, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. So I didn’t tell him until I was 5 months along, and I didn’t tell anyone else until I was 7 months along. Everyone freaked (of course), especially my parents. I wasn’t allowed to see or speak to him. If I kept my son, Eddie was not to be allowed around, and basically my mother told me that if I stayed in her house, then she would raise him, not me. I didn’t have anywhere else to go, I didn’t have my license, and my relationship was rather poor…so I decided not to keep my son. I happened to have an aunt who had always desperately wanted children and agreed to adopt my son at birth. So boom, that was that. No real time to think about it, or change my mind, or anything else. It was done. Jason and Eddie (and my mother, actually) worked at the same place, and that’s how I met Jason. We got along well – we both had baggage and distant children and growing up to do. We dated for almost a year, ended up pregnant (ugh – again?! =) ), got engaged, had our son, got married, got pregnant, bought a house, had our daughter – and then my aunt died. Jacob came back to live with us. It was stressful and crazy and yeah. Jason did a great job accepting Jacob into our lives – I struggled some, but eventually got the hang of it. And then, almost exactly a year later, you called.
I heard about you during our relationship. He told me about the girls almost immediately (I actually carried a pic of them with me at school, along with my own babies – and still have one with me to this day) and about you in Kentucky and how you “shut him out”. I read the whole case file from Kentucky. He showed me the letter he wrote to you when he got out of jail. I read all of your letters to him (even the one when you were with teejay) and the ones from cathy and i saw all the pictures. He told me about the drugs and the stealing. He told me about your sister catching him in bed with another girl. He told me about some of the good stuff, too. And I had my opinion formed. Not the one you may think. I was on your side, actually. With six years in jail, the best thing for everyone is to move on. The whole court thing with not accepting child support? Cool, way to keep control, girl. Live your life on your terms. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure if you’d ever contact him. Maybe the girls would when they were old enough…but didn’t really think you would.
But you did. December 7th or 9th, 2010. I saw the missed call from SMITH FREDA on the caller ID before Jason did. It took him two days to notice. But then he called back and got your dad. And that was that – contact had been made.Jason was…cautious. And mistrustful. I was worried, but excited! I spurned him on as much as I possibly could – way past the point that I should of, actually. I wanted to make sure he took the chance while he had it. Ages 10-12 are HARD, as you probably know… and it was especially hard for me, so it was extra important in my mind. He was hesitant…didn’t want to rock the boat. He was happy to (and i insisted he) send child support. We made plans, but as I’m sure you remember, they didn’t happen. And then we found out you had been arrested – and everything else that went along with that. How did we know? Well, we found Destinee. She had a picture of the graduation cake on her (public) fb profile and a post on her wall about missing/visiting her dad. And I was a “stalker” – yes I, not Jason – and googled him. The very first picture was a mug shot. And the second, and third, and fourth, actually. I found the pasco clerk site, and looked up his charges. And then I decided to google you, as we had done a million times before in the hopes of finding out about the girls – and your mug shot showed up. Not the best picture, as ‘m sure you’re aware. The biggest problem, of course, is that you didn’t contact us. At that point, we hadn’t met the girls. We didn’t know anything and couldn’t do anything. BUT DAMNIT, WE WOULD OF SUPPORTED YOU! We weren’t looking to take the girls away! And, ya know what, we still aren’t…but we’ll get to that. You didn’t even let us know what was happening, Shannon. We had to draw conclusions – and then someone said you were in the hospital. Your dad wasn’t saying anything. We couldn’t get ahold of you. So i pressured Jason into going down there. We had to make sure they were okay – and while your parents were fine, Jason is their father! He has a duty to try to protect them. And the day he flew down, you got out. Of what? Well, we don’t know. The hospital, rehab, off of a binge? You were never straight with us, so I guess one day we’ll find out a different way, but to be honest, we don’t care. And that trip was magical. You can’t believe the stories Jason told me when he got home – the instant connection, the amazing feelings of trust and comfort, how much they looked like him. It was meant to be. That was why you contacted us! Well, maybe not. But it’s not our place to question your motives – I just know that it happened the way it was supposed to. Jason was supposed to meet those girls during this part of their life.
It was amazing. I was so glad he met them. And I was(/am) so excited to as well! And then he planned a second trip. I want you to understand something about that trip – I wanted him to travel to FL. And what I said about him and you was true – If he wanted/wants a relationship, either emotional or physical, then he is more than welcome. I’m not really all the jealous about my relationship. But I was absolutely furious that Jason took a family trip without us – the rest of his family. I wanted to meet the girls, and I wanted to have a vacation (we didn’t at all in 2010 or 2011). It didn’t help that I was PMSing or that he missed his flight back. But my attitude was not about you, or about the girls – it was about us being excluded. Anyways, that trip went well too, to my knowledge. I can see you enjoyed it, considering you posted the pictures, as well as Terrence. I’m glad.
And then there was the third trip. Again, sad I was excluded, but no crazy attitudes this time. He even stayed in your house, and I don’t have a problem with it. And things went smoothly. And I was SOOOO excited for the next trip! Thanksgiving! It was supposed to be OUR trip! But instead, we became predators. Because three of the girls friends had added Jason on FB (please note that) and he had added devin? And I had the audacity to ask that thing for pictures under Jason’s account – i figured that she didn’t know me, but had called Jason a second dad, so it’d be okay. whoops. I do want to add that while I may know how to stalk, none of us know how to hack. So you’re dead wrong on that – so i guess you pissed someone else off too. But you ruined our trip and seriously damaged the relationship between our families.
I don’t know if you realize how much damage you did with that little stunt. I don’t honestly know what the point of it was. At this point, I do absolutely believe that you have orchestrated this whole thing, and continue to purposefully undermine any idea about Jason, your daughters father. But at this point, Jason has given up. From what I can tell, the girls have given up. And I am damn close to giving up. I don’t know what to do anymore. You do realize that you contacted us, right? We didn’t find you. You found us. I assume you did it for a reason. I can’t imagine you minded the extra money or the presents we sent. You certainly used the phone minutes as you pleased. But instead of sharing your daughters and getting the perks, you pushed it away. I can’t for the life of me understand why. You could have a break from four kids. Support. Money. But I suppose you wouldn’t want to lose the control? Or do you really think we’re bad people? I just don’t believe that. I can only imagine you got angry or jealous at the messages we sent to the girls. What else could it of been? Shannon, we could not and will not steal your girls. We would LOVE to SHARE custody of them. We would LOVE to have them over the summer, to be able to spend holidays together and get a family photo. We would GLADLY share the support – name your price! But it was never the intent to steal them from you. If they were in danger, we would try to protect them. Are you a danger? Well, I don’t know. You did let one get a tattoo. And one was with you when you were arrested. And they have smoked pot. And hid on the run from the law in a hotel room. None of those sound good. But you’re their mother. End of story. So unless they end up seriously hurt, we won’t do anything. We just want to know them and help them grow.
This letter started out nice, but the situation makes me angry. I hate feeling helpless. We would seriously do just about anything to have a relationship with them. Consider it. Decide. If so, get them to call. Or just stop by some time soon. If not, change your number. Move. And don’t contact us again.
Just been busy. And i don’t want every post i write to be about the girls. Soooooo… :-)j
Today, I am grateful.
I am grateful for a husband that stands by me. That is willing to sacrifice for me. I am grateful for a husband that is willing to change, even if it’s hard. I love the man I married, which is something I wasn’t sure of a year and a half ago.
Today, I am grateful.
I am grateful for my gorgeous, silly, rambunctious set of children. They keep me from becoming a sloth. They bring such simple joy. When Jake brings home a picture for me, or when Silas comes and cuddles, or when Sienna sings her Mommy song, I’m totally in love. Being a young mother is rough. Some of our moments aren’t exactly picture perfect. But we try, and we love, and we’re getting better.
Today, I am grateful.
I am grateful that my stepdaughters have a mother that loves them. I am grateful that my stepdaughters have a mother that has raised them for the past 11 years. I may not agree with everything she’s teaching them now, but I do realize that she has helped them grow into the beautiful girls they are today.
Today, I am grateful.
We didn’t talk much. Just enough to make me feel connected to them, i suppose. But they mean the world to me! I hold them in my heart just as I do my own children. I didn’t have them, but I love them just the same.
Today, I am grateful.
I am grateful that I am able to express these things I feel. I am grateful that I’m not alone. I’m grateful that I’m able to see my future, and it isn’t all that bad. I am grateful for the holiday season, and the peace it brings. I am grateful that this semester of school is over! I’m grateful that I have people to share with and talk to.
All in all, I’m just pretty grateful for it all.
Recently, my husband, his ex and his daughters had a fight. It got pretty ugly. The relationship between them is pretty new. My husband was estranged from his daughters for the first ten years of their lives. But last December, his ex, Shannon, contacted him. Their relationship blossomed and we thought all was good. We had planned our first family trip to see them for Thanksgiving, but the fight got in the way. I’ve talked to them breifly on the phone, and we’ve messaged on Facebook, but I have yet to meet them. I wrote my thoughts out last night and figured it was an important thing to share.
The relationship I dreamed we’d have started out with a knock on the door, me standing behind Jason with big smiles on our faces and the kids in tow. Shannon would open the door with a smile and the girls would run up to hug Jason. Then, they’d see me. I’d give them big hugs and kisses on the tops of their heads. They’d pick up Ninna and hug their brothers, and everyone would be happy. They’d beg to come up for visits, and maybe all of summer break. When they’d visit, we’d do wonderful family stuff like trips to the museums in Richmond and DC, and eat cupcakes, and go swimming, and play! Us girls would go out for pedicures and we’d have a girls night out dinner once in a while. When they weren’t here, they’d call Jason a few times a week and maybe even ask to talk to me occasionally, to tell me about boys or photos they had taken for me. It would be wonderful and happy, I’d be like an aunt and they’d be my little girlfriends.
Can you mourn for something you never had? I’m sure that’s pretty normal, really. But after all the drama, I was left feeling…empty. And then, i suppose, I started through the stages of grief. At first I didn’t believe it was them writing those words. And maybe I still believe that – or at least question. I went through the depression. Sadness at how things went, feeling rejected and at a loss. I’ve wondered what I did wrong and how I could of fixed it. And now I’m angry. If it was them, why did they play us? Why did they say they loved me, and fake the connection they had with Jason? If it wasn’t them, why couldn’t they find a way to tell us that? At 11, I was certainly sneaking the phone. Or getting on the internet without my parents knowing. But that’s not really a fair thing to put on them, I know. In my rational mind. The part that doesn’t feel. Problem with that side is, once I let it take over, it’s really REALLY hard to push it back. The whole point of it is to not feel that pain anymore. Do I really want to do that with Jason’s daughters? It hasn’t been very long. Maybe things will change and we’ll get answers to our questions and closure. Or time will go on and I’ll feel acceptance. Acceptance. Not what I had hoped for, but sometimes it’s gotta suffice.
My biggest problem with blogging (and journaling, etc) is consistency. I’m not very good at it. I forget, I put it off. Maybe I won’t this time? That’s pretty unlikely, but I do feel like there’s nothing I can do but try, try again.
On another note, I’m Lauren. I have three beautiful children and two gorgeous step daughters. I own a business, go to college and work part time as a waitress. I love to write and scrapbook and take pictures. I try to stay busy but am easily distracted. Life is good!
Thanks for checkin’ me out!